Supply Chain Management at Bose Corporation

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Bose Corporation, headquartered in Framingham, Massachusetts, offers an excellent example of integrated supply chain management. Bose, a producer of audio premium speakers used in automobiles, high-fidelity systems, and consumer and commercial broadcasting systems, was founded in 1964 by Dr. Bose of MIT. Bose currently maintains plants in Massachusetts and Michigan as well as Canada, Mexico, and Ireland. Its purchasing organization, while decentralized, has some overlap that requires coordination between sites. It manages this coordination by using conference calls between managers, electronic communication, and joint problem solving. The company is moving toward single sourcing many
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The company can also request removal from a terminal of any shipment that it must expedite with an air shipment.
This state-of-the-art system provides a snapshot of what is happening on a daily basis and keeps Bose’s managers on top of everyday occurrences and decisions. Management proactively manages logistics time elements in pursuit of better customer service. The next step is to implement this system with all major suppliers rather than just with transportation suppliers. In the future, Bose plans to automate its entire materials system.
Perhaps one of the most unique features of Bose’s procurement and logistics system is the development of JIT II. The basic premise of JIT II is simple: The person who can do the best job of ordering and managing inventory of a particular item is the supplier himself. Bose negotiated with each supplier to provide a full-time employee at the Bose plant who was responsible for ordering, shipping, and receiving materials from that plant, as well as managing on-site inventories of the items. This was done through an EDI connection between Bose’s plant and the supplier’s facility. Collocating suppliers and buyers was so successful that Bose is now implementing it at all plant locations. In fact, many other companies have also begun to implement collocation of suppliers.

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